Plymouth Business School

MPhil/PhD Business with Management

Exploring the major challenges in today’s business and management worlds, MPhil/PhD Business with Management will provide you with inspiring opportunities to undertake top level research into business, management, entrepreneurial, HR, leadership and/or industrial relations matters. Supervised by scholars renowned in their fields, you’ll explore current issues arising from the latest developments in research and industry practice, enriching the literature on your chosen topics.

Meanwhile, you’ll grasp research methodology and gain analytical and evaluative skills for understanding complex issues. You would have the opportunity to employ one or more traditional and innovative research methods to do this, be they quantitative or qualitative. The fulfilment of MPhil/PhD Business with Management will enhance your capabilities to pursue a progressive career in industry or academia.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake.

    You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. Even if you already have a masters degree, you will normally be registered as a ‘MPhil/PhD’ candidate and may apply to transfer to ‘PhD’ status around 10–22 months after registration, based on your progress to date.

    You will be expected to fully engage with skills development and training and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts.

    Your PhD will be assessed via submission of either a written thesis (approximately 80,000 words), or one that combines critical writing with artistic, creative and/or professional practice, and a viva voce (an oral examination).

    For full details of what doing a PhD entails at the University of Plymouth, please visit our postgraduate research degrees pages.

    Core modules
    • GSRBUSM4 Research Business/Mgmt

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have completed a masters level qualification to a high standard (e.g. at 'merit' or 'distinction' level) as well as either a good 2:1 or first class honours undergraduate degree in an area of study appropriate to your project proposal (e.g. theatre and performance, drama, dance, live or fine art, performance writing, etc.). We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications (for instance, you may have studied different subjects at undergraduate and masters level but have established an artistic practice since then).

If you do not have a masters level qualification, we recommend you consider applying for one of our marketing programmes.

You will also need to provide evidence that you are ready to pursue the project you propose in your application. This will take the form of a sample of critical writing, and if relevant, documentation of relevant creative or professional practice.

If English is not your first language, you must have proficiency in written and spoken English (normally a minimum test score of 6.5 for IELTS, or equivalent). Given the nature of the programme, you’ll be expected to read and engage with complex theoretical texts and debates for which fluency in English is essential.

For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. MPhil/PhD Business with Management is in Band 1 for fees purposes.

If you are a full time student, you will pay full time fees for three years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional one year writing up period.

If you are a part time student, you will pay part time fees for four years. If you have not submitted your thesis by the end of this period, then you may pay for an optional 'writing up' period of up to two years.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

In addition to completing the online application form (which includes space for a personal statement), you must also upload a research project proposal of no more than 1000 words in total. Your research proposal should outline your general topic, your key aims and the research question/problem you are addressing, your proposed methodology, key definitions/thinkers/discourses/practitioners you are drawing upon and an explanation of why this topic is significant or important.

Your personal statement should briefly explain why you have chosen to apply to our programme and what you feel you can offer our research community.

You will also need to submit a sample of your critical writing (3000 words maximum) and, if relevant, evidence of your ability to undertake the practice-led research you are proposing (e.g. a DVD, portfolio, links to website, reviews, catalogue, etc.). It should take no longer than 30 minutes to view all the visual material that you provide.

For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Research groups

Responsible Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Themed Research Group (RESI) encompasses diverse strands of academic and applied responsible entrepreneurship and social innovation research. By addressing contemporary and emergent issues in entrepreneurship research it aims to impact on policy and practice.

Find out more about our research opportunities


People, Organisations and Work (POW) brings together academics who undertake critical interdisciplinary research that contributes to the promotion of positive and sustainable organisational environments and fulfilling and rewarding work. While POW initially emerged from the HR and Leadership group in the Plymouth Graduate School of Management, it extends to colleagues working in a range of disciplines within the Faculty of Business. We are therefore keen to attract members, and form collaborations with interested academics, from different disciplines as well as those based in other institutions.

Find out more about our research opportunities

Abstracting the world in the form of models and mimicking its behaviour using simulation allows people to better understand the impacts of policy and decision making within a complex and interconnected world. Simulation models of managed systems can be used for forensic analysis, diagnostics, prediction, and learning and insight generation. Modelling and Simulation for Social Systems (M&S3) is a Research Initiative whose members are involved in Simulation and Modelling and Simulation Gaming for policy and decision making.

Find out more about our research opportunities

People